Four Otterbein University professors suggest that women may be averse to STEM fields because they feel they work harder than male students without earning higher grades. After conducting a study of 828 students in STEM classes, the professors discovered that while women felt they put more effort into their classes than men, they received approximately equivalent grades, which “indicates that women's higher perceived effort levels are not rewarded."
Organizations all over the world, such as EngineerGirl in the U.S., are working hard to encourage more women to seek careers in STEM fields, and it is clear that these bodies and their events are having an impact. However, my feeling is that we can and must do more in our schools to increase the number of women represented in STEM careers, not just because of the drive for equality but because we are potentially missing out on a massive pool of talent.
What causes the STEM pipeline to leak female minds so egregiously?Perhaps it’s the drain of potential female role models who deserve to win the Nobel Prize, but fail to receive science’s ultimate accolade. Children yearn for role models. In music and movies, sports and politics, heroines (and heroes) can catalyze early interests and spark lifelong ambitions.
Dr. Mae Jemison, the first black woman in outer space, fell in love with science at an early age. Decades later, she's encouraging girls of all ages and backgrounds to engage in STEM education and is sharing insight on how to overcome obstacles.
Although the gender gap in education and employment has narrowed significantly, women are still underrepresented in areas of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM fields. Even with the push toward the math and sciences, the number of women choosing to study engineering and physics has remained static since 2012, while the industry continues to grow in global importance.
If these high-paying jobs are dominated by men, it’s not a stretch to say that the earning potential between men and women will continue to widen if we don’t start making changes now. One part of the problem is that fewer women get technical jobs, even if they work at a technology company.
About one in three employees at Google, Facebook and Apple is a woman. That’s an imbalance that tech sector executives Sheryl Sandberg and Tim Cook say they want to change. Yet even if their companies set a target of just over half their new recruits being women, a Breakingviews calculator shows that closing the gender gap will take up to 15 years.
In 2015, women like Murphy filled 24 percent of all science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) jobs in the U.S., according to a report released in November 2017 by the Economics and Statistics Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The phrase "like a girl" is undergoing a transformation. What was once an insult is now a compliment -- and it's thanks to partnerships like Always & Walmart Live #LikeAGirl in collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA). Together, they are on a mission to encourage girls' confidence in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and change the face of these industries.
As a multiracial female scientist who grew up in rural Lynden, Whatcom County, Barber DeGraaff is committed to smashing the public’s stereotypical idea of who a scientist is. “In the sciences, we’re taught to be objective and above our biases, but we’re not,” she says. “To get more women into tech, the students need programs encouraging girls to get involved early, but another layer needs to be faculty awareness and fellow student awareness on discrimination and bias – both gender and race.”